You know, in terms of crap that can happen to people, I’ve got it easy. I do not have an abusive or indifferent spouse, for one thing. In point of fact, I have a ridiculously loving and supportive spouse, who puts up with my schizophrenic crap in the most easy-going and tolerant manner you could imagine.
He also insists that I am ‘smart’, which is IMHO not exactly as much a given as he seems to think it is.
I live in a nice suburb and for bonus points, we’re stable here. I don’t fear bill collectors, starvation, broken down vehicles on work mornings, drive-by shootings or other things that go !BAM! in the night.
My children are…well, I was going to say ‘healthy’ but then a chorus of coughing broke out in the playroom, so let’s go with ‘reasonably healthy’. The worst thing I have to deal with on that front is vaccinations, which do cause me to melt into a sniveling heap of pathetic loser. Oh. And the occasional head-wound-crazy-glue.
So, really, I don’t feel like I have any right to feel sorry for myself. Which ironically makes me feel even more pathetic when I am feeling put-upon.
Which, uh, I am.
I trekked out to the office to discuss Things with my boss Wednesday. Turns out by ‘part time’, he’s really thinking more along the lines of ‘any three to four full days I’d like and by the way we’d prefer if you came onsite ‘more frequently’ so we can make absolutely sure you are working the whole time, stand over you and otherwise babysit you because you obviously cannot be trusted you can work without distraction.’
So, I’m still paying for full-time childcare, now with less income!, and having the two hour each way drive (because there is literally not even one public transportation option to get from here to there and back again) on top of it to contend with.
He made it clear that he doesn’t believe I could possibly work around a (pre)school schedule reliably enough to suit them.
I’m afraid I rather immaturely stopped talking at this point. It was the deeply engrained motherly advice kicking in: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
Because people, what I wanted to say was not a bit nice. ‘Bitchy’ does not begin to cover it. Some of it he deserved, and some of it he didn’t. But I really wanted to rip him up one side and down the other, and then stomp out and slam the door behind me for good measure.
I began making non-committal noises and doodling on my planner pages, and finally said, “You know what? This is all coming down very suddenly, and the changes we’re talking about would be fairly major for everybody. I don’t know what I could do around childcare for this schedule, and I really need time to think about it all and decide what to do.”
As I have nearly a month’s worth of accrued vacation, we agreed that effectively immediately I would go on administrative leave for a couple weeks to ‘think things through’.
And you know what? I am doing just that.
Specifically, I am thinking through what, exactly, I’m going to do after I’ve officially left this company. Which I had pretty much decided to do by the time I’d hoofed it back to the car. Full time stress for part time pay just doesn’t cut it for me. I can do better.
Thus far, my ‘thinking things through’ goes like this:
- Spend the next two-three weeks, while on leave but still enjoying daycare, putting together our lives, Den, and firming up my post-work plans.
- Spend the next three to six months (micro)managing our remodeling project and shoring up the fiscal disaster we’ve undergone since I went back to work, while finalizing what, exactly-precisely, I’d like to do next.
- And also, get a little more aggressive about my arthritis treatment. This is ridiculous. I refuse to be afraid of a six block walk to and from my car. I used to climb mountains for fun, people – I refuse to become a Hover-Round candidate. Pffffbt! to that!
- Thumb my nose at the notion that it is “not possible” to take care of business around Denizen (pre)school schedules by succeeding in my own damned home based business, thank you very much Mr. Let Me Tell You How Impossible It Would Be For You To Get Any Meaningful Work Done Unless You Can Have A Full Eight Hours Of Unbroken Concentration.
Yeah. That last one is a little on the vague side at this point. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head; mostly around things I’ve done before with varying degrees of success. Things that I know could have much more successful, if I hadn’t flitted off to other things. And also, things I can control; for example, if I know I’ve got Spring break coming, I can turn the tap down on my workflow to accommodate having all four Denizens underfoot, all day.
I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I do know what I will not do.
I will not rant and cry. I’m done with that now. By the time I had made the two hour drive home from the office, the roiling had settled into a tremendous peace.
I’m ready to let it go. Ready to acknowledge that it isn’t working, and isn’t going to work, and that I need to release the job. It belongs to someone else. Someone else will snuggle into it and it will be perfect and they will be happy and find fulfillment in what is, for me, a hair shirt I’ve been torturing myself with for months.
Therefore! I herewith put my best foot forward and, undaunted and somewhat relieved that the hardest part is behind me, declare my intention to move Onward!
Starting with more coffee and also a sausage-mushroom omelet.
In that order.